More than a century ago, revolutionary troops took over the city of Torreon, which was ruled by exiled Mexican leader Porfirio Díaz. Over a three day span, troops killed 303 Chinese men, women and children.
“The discrimination was based on the most vile and offensive” stereotypes, López Obrador said, according to the AP. “These stupid ideas were transferred to Mexico, where extermination was added to exclusion and mistreatment.”
Mexicans at the time had complained that the Chinese were taking their jobs, depressing wages rates and were apparently jealous of their economic success.
The government of then-President Francisco I. Madero agreed to pay reparations for the massacre, but Madero was overthrown two years later and the proposed payment was never made, the AP reported.
Lopez Obrador has made a series of apologies in an effort to make amends for the past mistreatment of minorities in Mexico. He said Monday's ceremony is an attempt to make sure "that this never, ever happens again."
Earlier this month, he expressed regret at centuries of abuse against the Mexico's Maya population.